Vodafone working on tie-up with O2, while Orange keen to join T-Mobile/3 alliance, local press reports.

Vodafone and O2 plan to pool their networks, while Vodafone's existing partner, Orange plans to ask T-Mobile and 3 for permission to join their network sharing venture, The Guardian reported without citing its sources.

All five companies will continue to compete under their own brand names, but putting together their networks will allow them to push mobile broadband into more rural areas and should allow them to reduce the 51,000 base stations dotted across the country, The Guardian said.

The move will reduce costs, which should lead to cheaper calls and Internet services, the report said.

Both the Competition Commission and Office of Fair Trading are expected to scrutinize the two deals to see whether they amount to a merger that will reduce competition, the newspaper said.
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